The Indian team management is supposedly thinking about bringing the left handed batsman Suresh Raina in the playing XI for the Melbourne test match that is starting on the Boxing Day i.e. 26th of December. Raina is likely to replace Rohit Sharma who has had a highest score of 43 in the 4 innings that he has played in this Border-Gavaskar series. It’s not only these failures; Rohit has actually had failures on every overseas tour that India has been on in the last one year. Whether it is South Africa, New Zealand, England or Australia, Rohit just hasn’t looked good enough to be a good test batsman overseas.
However, Raina doesn’t make a much stronger case either. He might be very good in One Day Cricket, but, he hasn’t had a good track record at all playing test cricket overseas. He is still vulnerable against the short balls. Yes, while facing softer old white ball on slower pitches in ODIs, he has executed the pull and hook shots alright, but, when he would be up against Johnson and the other Aussie fast bowlers facing red cherry on fresher pitches, he would need to be spot on with his back and across movement.
If the videos of Raina’s batting are watched closely, you would find out that quite often he waits for the short balls as he knows that the bowlers like banging it short against him because of his weakness against that kind of bowling in the past. So, he waits back. In One Day Cricket, that technique is okay because generally the ball doesn’t come that fast off the pitch, but, in tests matches, it would come through very fast and thus, he would be in trouble if he plays that way. He would not be able to premeditate in that format.
Let’s see how Raina goes if he finds himself in the Indian XI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.